Japanese People Constantly Tell Me No One Uses These Words

Oh, and as for ちかぢか versus きんきん, I asked two natives, one who said that she can see きんきん being used in conversation, but that it feels like it might skew toward older people, and one who said she was unfamiliar with きんきん entirely. Coincidentally, the one who was unfamiliar with it is about 15 years younger than the one who knew it. They were together when I asked them.


I think what they were trying to convey is that no one uses this word in conversational speech. I have learned since my OP that it seems many 熟語 are this way.


my point was not that I don’t understand what it means, but that people don’t actually use this word, evidenced by the fact that you can’t really find Japanese texts on Google using it.

It’s for properly citing sources, of course it doesn’t get used on the internet much at all.


Well I quite agree with this. My original point was that it’s a pretty sad sight that self-proclaimed language learning experts denied the existence of flaws and shamed people who had brought up the need for adjustments in this thread.

I guess you’re expertise is required in another thread, which is a fine example of what I’m talking about:

You’ll have to connect the dots for me. What have I said to suggest that someone who reaches level 60 should pass N1 by default?

What is your proposal on this. WK shouldn’t have the kanji 仏 and any associated vocabulary? I mean, we’ll just set aside that plenty of people visit Japan to see Buddhist cultural sites.


All I’m saying is bring on all the buddhist words, I like to see them all. Anyways, people make threads to suggest changes, things get edited and removed all the time. You can see that there are changes every week here: https://wanikani.tumblr.com/. No need to bottle up all those feelings.

If you had said there are too many baseball terms I could see your point, but on the other hand baseball is really big and Japan, so why not learn it along with some cultural terms? Religious, cultural, geographic, … You make it seem like there is an excessive amount of obscure vocab, but fail to really bring on more than the few odd items that exists everywhere.

You are also fast at accusing but really trying to understanding the points of other people. For example there are many archaic kanji in jouyou, what kind of vocab do you expect? People want to pass N2, N1 with the word lists for the old tests, you want to keep the “official” words out anyway?


A WK user failed N1, acm, so obviously the site is crap.


Maybe time for a moratorium (nobody uses that word in conversation: sorry) on drunken train-ride-commenting?

Japanese culture prizes teasing as a way of showing affection. (so if it’s coming from a gf, that’ s probably a good thing), and sometimes bullying as a way of showing dominance (oh well, just laugh it off).

Unfortunately, learning a language requires surrendering your ego to a large degree, because you’ll be making lots of mistakes, and people will correct your, or laugh at you. It’s not fair to blame WK (or the assholes on this thread) for the usage errors you make. You’ll make mistakes no matter what your source for vocabulary. Turn it into a positive by developing more empathy for people who don’t speak your own language very well.


Also I’m not sure if it’s ganging up on someone if it’s just…people having opinions. If your opinion is in the minority, it’s easy to feel ganged up on, but it’s just numbers working against you (and I mean the general you in this case).


I don’t care if people have criticisms/complaints about WaniKani, or different opinions about what you should be learning, but I expect everyone to be polite and respectful to each other. If I see this thread turn into personal insults, it will be closed.


My hero :heart:


My only complaint about the vocab is that there are so many words with similar-but-not-quite-the-same meanings in the late teens that it’s causing a lot of cognitive interference and I’m having a hard time nailing the vocab down and reviews are taking forever :frowning:

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People complain because language is tough and unless you are a native or fully immersed it will be tough to use the correct words all the time. There is no one perfect solution, but WaniKani seems to help build a good base to build on which is my goal as I supplement my Skype lessons, and classroom sessions with it.

Words are generational, cultural, and regional. My 70+ old Japanese friends use phrases and words that my 30+ year old Japanese friends chuckle at because no one says that anymore or they just never heard of it.


Not native English speaker here. Japanese will be my 3rd language. I believe many people invest their time here learning Kanji with various reasons and backgrounds. Assuming everyone here are weebs and anime freaks is really rude. May I assume you’re only projecting yourself? And calling anyone with opposing opinion assholes won’t help to make your points clear.

Anyway, I’m glad WK taught me English word such as Melee even though I never heard any native English speakers use that word around me.

Also I’m glad knowing the meaning of words such as Supercilious even though I never heard that being said in conversations.

Conversation is fun. But reading is also fun. And I’m here to learn to read Kanji. I believe many of others here do.


I was talking about everyday usage, not absolute fluency.

In most languages you need about 750 words to hold everyday conversations and about 2500 to express anything you want to express, albeit be it with some weird periphrases here and there. 5000 words make up the active vocabulary of an uneducated native speaker and twice as much of an educated one. To fully understand books of notable authors in your desired language you need a passive vocabulary of about 20000 words. (All this according to the american linguist Alexander Arguelles)

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I know a lot of words and can communicate fluently in any situation here. But I still manage to miss important keywords in sentences and have to ask for clarification.

No 2 people use the same vocabulary, and there’s no “750 word axis” everything moves around.
Just suck up everything. Each and every word is worth picking up, if just passively.


Hey, I never said I focus only on the bare minimum. I learn words and phrases that are, presented to me to learn (e.g. here on WK or other platforms), that come up often enough (in anime for example) or which just seem interesting and/or useful.

The numbers I mentioned are just approximations and don’t refer to a fixed list of words anyway. They also don’t mean that when you have the more or less essential vocabulary in a language, that you’ll understand everything in depth in everyday conversations, but that you at the very least get the gist of it.

Edit: And after a certain amount of words learned, the rest almost comes by itself. That’s how it was for me with English. After I got the base vocab and grammar down, I was able to deduce the meanings of many words just from the context(s) they were used in.

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